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Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS
You Garden Xiao Long Bao on Bell Boulevard in Bayside nears completion on Aug. 21 before its soft opening this weekend.

A new restaurant opening this weekend in Bayside is bringing authentic Chinese food to the neighborhood straight from Shanghai.

You Garden Xiao Long Bao, located at 41-07 Bell Blvd., is set to make its soft opening on Saturday, Aug. 25, according to manager Alan Gao. The restaurant will quickly follow up with a grand opening event on Tuesday, Aug. 28, when guests will be treated to free samples of its signature dishes.

You Garden will be the first expansion from its owners, who also own the bustling Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House in downtown Flushing. According to Gao, the move coincides with their desire to introduce authentic Shanghainese food to new neighborhoods.

“I’m not sure if you’ve tried other Shanghainese food, but mostly they are accustomed to the U.S. flavor,” Gao said, with help from a translator. “But us, we are trying to bring back the old traditional Shanghainese flavor.”

The primary example is the Peking Duck, a dish that has been served in China since the imperial era. It’s one of the many new additions to the You Garden menu at the Bayside location, and guests at the grand opening can receive a free sample.

The other sample option during the promotion is an order of steamed dumplings, or “xiao long bao” in Chinese. The soup-filled dumplings are made using the same techniques as dumpling houses near the Yuyuan Garden in the Old City region of Shanghai, China, hence the restaurant’s name.

Other menu items unique to the Bayside location include mango shrimp, fish filet with pickled vegetables, beef with broccoli, Shanghai chives with chicken chowder, sweet and sour shrimp casserole and sweet and sour crispy chicken.

While the menu mirrors that of the Flushing location, Gao said the new items are intended to appeal to families and the different clientele in Bayside.

The Bell Boulevard storefront is also much larger than its Flushing counterpart, which often has an hourlong wait for customers to be seated on the weekends, Gao said. Moreover, the new You Garden has a takeout window for guests who prefer to pick up their food on the go without having to enter the restaurant.

Yet using the takeout window would mean missing out on the You Garden’s decor, reflective of its Old City roots. Lanterns hang from the ceiling, paintings of flowers and birds adorn the walls; writing on the tables explain what the Yuyuan Garden is; dishes are served on traditional platters; and VIP rooms are separated from the rest of the seating by a curtain of beads.

Gao hopes that the all-around uniqueness and novelty of the You Garden will lead to its success.

“I don’t really see a lot of authentic Chinese restaurants around here, maybe mostly for delivery but not really for dine-in,” Gao said. “So hopefully they love it.”

The full menu for You Garden Xiao Long Bao is available online here.

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Photos by Ryan Kelley/QNS

Photos by Ryan Kelley/QNS

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Thomas McGlinchey August 23, 2018 / 11:07PM
Welcome to the neighborhood!
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